The Forest Department is going to train the Tamil Nadu Home Guards in handling man-animal conflict in the Valparai region, where elephants frequently enter the habitations causing damage to crops a

A delegation of nearly 15 persons, including office-bearers of the Valparai Merchants Federation and various other associations, on Wednesday left for Chennai to urge officials to exclude Valparai from the core and buffer areas of Anamalai Tiger Reserve.

A. Jebaraj, president of the federation, said that traditionally Valparai had been a land of plantations providing livelihood to thousands of workers from backward and suppressed communities. It houses a number of reservoirs and hydrel power stations. In addition, there are a number of places of worship frequented by devotees for hundreds of years.

Solar fences, early warning systems and trip wire systems are some of the new initiatives that will be in place to reduce man-animal conflict in Valparai plateau.

In this highly conflict-prone zone, where herds of elephant and leopards often stray into human habitations, the Forest Department will provide 20 km of solar power fencing to residential colonies in Valparai and Manambolly ranges to the save lives and crop.

The Western Ghats hill range of India, recognised as a global biodiversity hotspot, also contains impressive cultural diversity including a number of tribal communities.

A one-and-a-half-year-old female panther, which had mauled a five-year-old girl 10 days ago, was trapped by Forest Department officials on Wednesday on the Anali Estate, around 15 km from here. This was the third one to be trapped in the Valparai plateau in less than four months. The animal was trapped just 10 metres away from labourers' colony on the estate. Veterinarian N.S. Manoharan tranquilised the panther. On instruction from R. Kannan, Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore, it was taken to Vandalur Zoo in Chennai. First time

The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board is carrying out in full swing the project of augmenting the water supply to Valparai in Coimbatore district and 10 other areas, Local Administration and